A rare and exceptional example of the first Apple computer – the Apple 1 – sold today at Christie’s for £133,250 / $212,267 / €156,169. The first personal computer with a fully assembled motherboard, the Apple 1 heralded the home computer revolution. Only about 200 examples are believed to have been produced, and the present example was sold at auction by a private collector complete with original box, instruction manuals and a signed letter from Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple. The other prominent co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, who designed and constructed the Apple 1, attended the auction. It was acquired by Marco Boglione, a private Italian collector.
A further highlight of the sale was an ‘Enigma’ machine, the cipher machine widely used by the German army in World War II, which sold for £67,250 / $107,129 / €78,817. It was underbid by an internet bidder via Christie’s LIVE and acquired by a client bidding by telephone.
Julian Wilson, specialist for Books and Manuscripts, Christie’s London: “At today’s auction, we saw people studying the sale catalogue on their ‘ipads’ using the Christie’s app while the auctioneer took online bids through Christie’s LIVE; it is a fitting illustration of how computers have revolutionised the world to have sold an Apple 1computer as an historic relic in Christie’s salerooms. This is the first time that an Apple 1 has been sold at a major international auction, and we are thrilled with the global interest and enthusiasm that we saw leading up to the sale, and with the price realised by this rare and exceptional piece of computing history.”
Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in 2016 that totalled £4 billion / $5.4 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.
Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.